Rudi Rudiger aboard Assa Abloy believes that laughing is the only way to get through the early stages of the VOR

‘At one point we just had to stop and laugh’, admitted Rudi Rudiger aboard Assa Abloy ‘otherwise we’d go nuts. Last night was a classic ocean racing circus. The wind was shifting 200 degrees at around 3-6 knots. One minute we were on port gybe heading straight at SEB 280 miles ahead, the next we were heading out to sea on the other gybe with SEB 280 miles behind. Unfurl, drop Spinnaker, repack, hoist spinnaker, furl A-0, drop A-0, no, no wait unfurl A-0, drop no, no wait gybe first then hoist etc.

‘Amazingly I even had time to coin a new California phrase last night ‘One minute you loose, the next minute you cruise. Even the skeds (position reports) have to be taken with a grain of salt, because one boat could suddenly jump from fifth to first with just three more knots of wind or a better angle. ‘In one of these particularly messed up oscillations, we were on the opposite gybe to Tyco and they disappeared off the Radar, never to be seen again. At sked time they had gained four miles! And Dalton had gained as well and was eight miles ahead. But lo and behold at sunrise we overtook someone.

‘This is quickly becoming the longest I have been at sea with this little wind. The last I can remember was the Route of Discovery race back in 1999 aboard Pyewacket. I had hoped then never to repeat that episode again.

‘The hardest part for me is knowing every day out here is another day I’m not going to be with my wife Lori and son Zayle. Normally I don’t mind how long it takes as long as we win, but there is a limit to everything.

‘Anybody want to loose some weight? Sign up for the next leg of the Volvo Ocean Race Around the World! ‘Keep on keeping on.

Rudi Rudiger

Assa Abloy